A 36-year-old Chinese woman who had reportedly just split up with her husband went missing at the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo near Pattaya on Sunday afternoon. A tour guide said the woman who was last seen near the zoo’s crocodile pond had appeared to be “under stress” and that he had feared she “would commit suicide.”
The search for the Chinese tourist who had traveled to Thailand alone was called off Sunday night due to heavy rain and was continued throughout Monday without any result.
As of Monday night, the woman was still missing. (She was eventually found by locals on Tuesday – alive. See update below.)
The woman had reportedly visited the tiger zoo with a Chinese tour group Sunday afternoon and not returned to the tour bus at the end of the trip. According to the tour guide, she had previously also “often separated from the tour group to be alone.”
CCTV footage at the popular tourist attraction last showed the woman walk on her own near the crocodile pond at about 6 p.m. She was wearing black sunglasses, a white T-shirt and red shorts.
While the police have suggested that the Chinese woman might have “[fallen] into the pond accidentally,” a tour guide who accompanied the group to the popular zoo noted that he had been “afraid” that the “unhappy” single woman “would commit suicide.”
UPDATE – Khaosod report that the “missing” woman was eventually found by locals hiding in a farmer’s hut in a rice field approx. four kilometres from the tiger zoo as she was washing her clothes in a canal.
According to police, she had run away from her tour group because she was “afraid that she [would] die” if she returned to China.
Pattaya One add that the woman was “under stress over family problems” and claimed she had been “forced to take out a life insurance policy [worth “millions of Baht”] by a person [her ex-husband in China?] who was then named as the beneficiary in the event of her death.”
Photo credit: Khaosod